International Report

Asia/Pacific Region Sets the Standards

Transparency, inclusion and the needs of developing nations were among the main topics discussed by the twenty-two top executives representing the national standards bodies of the Asia/Pacific region when they convened at ASTM International for a two-day Open House. The recent event was an open forum for frank discussion regarding today's changing world of international standardisation, with participation from Australia, Chinese Taipei, Fiji, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Mongolia, New Zealand, the Philippines, the PeopleÕs Republic of China, Russia, Singapore, South Africa, Thailand, the United States and Vietnam.

The chairman of the World Trade Organisation's Technical Barriers to Trade Committee, Juan Antonio Dorantes, addressed the subject of international standards, namely standards that are transparent, coherent and impartial. A recurring theme was the need for international standards to be inclusive as opposed to exclusive. Also, attendees learned, first hand, that they have the opportunity and freedom to use US generated international standards while still honouring the intent of the World Trade Organisation's obligations to use international standards.

Other discussion points focused on the standardisation needs of developing nations, the need for flexibility within the global standards system and support for small businesses. The guests also challenged their hosts to provide a vision for their organisations in the year 2013, further adding to the meaningful exchange. The Open House was co-sponsored by ASME International, Underwriters Laboratories and ASTM International, in cooperation with the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

Rohde & Schwarz Goes Digital

In a contract worth several million Euros, the Italian network operator Elettronica Industriale has contracted Rohde & Schwarz to supply DVB-T transmitters, which will be used for installing Italy's first digital TV network.

To fulfill the contract Rohde & Schwarz will supply DVB-T transmitters with power ranging from 10 W to 1.3 kW for the first network. They are currently being installed in Italy and are scheduled to go on the air by the end of 2003. The numerous low power transmitters of the R&S SV7002 family included in the order are notable for their high flexibility and compact design.

The high power transmitters of the R&S NV family to be supplied feature an ultra-modern liquid-cooling concept, which makes maintenance very easy and cost-effective, and reduces space requirements to a minimum. A further expansion of the Italian DVB-T network is anticipated during the next few months.

China-based Telematics Joint Venture is Launched

Thales and China Spacesat have established a joint venture to develop telematics solutions for the Chinese market. Called AeroThales and based in Beijing, it is 49 percent owned by Thales and 51 percent by Aerostrong Technology, China Spacesat's main subsidiary. Its primary objective is to provide telematics services based on high precision satellite positioning systems and GSM communications infrastructures.

These high value-added services include vehicle fleet management, roadside assistance and stolen vehicle tracking. They are aimed primarily at national organisations such as the postal service, the fire fighting service and oil companies, but there is also strong demand for telematics services from private operators such as vehicle rental and transport and logistics firms.

"Many sectors, both public and private, stand to benefit greatly from the very latest positioning and location technologies to improve the security of their operations and reduce their operating costs," says Jean-Louis Moraud, chief executive officer of Thales Telematics. "This strategic agreement between the Thales Group and China Spacesat is the result of a shared vision of the enormous growth potential for positioning and telematics services on China's civil market."

Technology Office for EADS in Moscow

EADS has established a Russian Technology Office in Moscow as part of its corporate research organisation and also signed an agreement with the Russian Academy of Sciences outlining opportunities for working together on technical cooperation.

Establishing the technology office underlines the importance the company is placing on increasing its presence in Russia and expanding cooperation with industrial, scientific and technological research partners. Its main responsibility will be to facilitate cooperation with the Russian research and development community and be the focal point for projects with all potential Russian partners. The office will act on behalf of the EADS Corporate Research Centre as well as the EADS business units. Cooperation projects have already begun in the areas of materials and processes and software development as well as mathematical computations and modelling.

The signing of the agreement between EADS and the Russian Academy of Sciences makes EADS an associate member of the Council of the International Institute for Advanced Systems (MNIIPU), which will allow the company to leverage on additional resources available through the Academy of Sciences for technical objectives on a subject-by-subject basis. The Russian Academy of Sciences in its turn will be able to work closely with various EADS research centres and business units.

AMS Radar Project Takes to the Air

In a contract worth approximately US$3 M, AMS, an equal shares joint venture between Finmeccanica of Italy and BAE Systems of the UK, has signed a contract with the Civil Aviation Authority of China (CAAC) to supply two mono-pulse versions of SIR-S, the AMS Mode-S Secondary Radar, to be installed in YanÕan and AnÕkang for the Chinese northwest airway.

This version of SIR-S provides the best of Mode-S radar technology and in the future will guarantee an easy evolution towards the most advanced features for Mode-S radar. Both installations will include the tracking processor, a local radar monitoring and maintenance (RMM) console, and a remote control and monitoring system (CMS).

Wireless Data Network Expansion to Increase Coverage Across Israel

Pelephone, Israel's first 3G wireless network technology operator, has selected Nortel Networks to expand its 3G wireless data network in a supply agreement estimated at US$30 M over three years. Nortel Networks is the primary provider of the company's existing CDMA2000 1X wireless data network, which was launched as IsraelÕs first commercial 3G wireless network earlier this year. This expansion will overlay existing network equipment and will also help Pelephone to drive new revenues by supporting high speed wireless data and secure Internet services.

"We look forward to building on and continuing our relationship with Pelephone," said Sorin Lupu, managing director, Nortel Networks Israel. "We are leveraging our global wireless and technical experience and our 20-year position in the Israeli market to help Pelephone drive Israel into the next era of mobile communications."